Lions’ OL coach Hank Fraley dismisses Sewell-Decker swap talk
Hank Fraley knew the questions about Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker were coming.
How could he not?
After Sewell’s exception performance at Left Tackle vs. the 49ers, questions arose if the Lions should keep Sewell there and move Decker to Right Tackle after he returns from injury. Currently, Decker is out of action after having finger surgery last week.
According to Dan Campbell, Decker sustained the injury in practice during pass protection drills as they prepared for the 49ers. The expectation is he’ll miss at least a month of action.
While Sewell indeed played––something that even Jared Goff alluded to, Hank Fraley isn’t looking down the road with his offensive line. Instead, his focus lies with making sure Sewell does a great job in his current slot against Green Bay.
“Right now, that’s where he is, Left Tackle,” said Fraley. “He’s done a nice job. He’s done a nice job all camp. I know outside of the building, there’s always a lot of speculation and talk on everything, and that’s where it stays––outside the building.”
“In here, he’ll just line up wherever we want. I mean, if you ask him to go play Center, he’ll probably play Center. So, he’s done a nice job with it. He’s taking it to a challenge. This week is a new challenge for him again. New pass rushers. New run-blocking. You know, the Smith brothers [Za’Darius and Preston] up there, man, they’re good pass rushers themselves. And you got [Rashan] Gary, and all those guys. It’s nice to see he competed his butt off, and I can’t wait to see him go out there and perform this week.”
When asked if there was any discussion amongst the coaching staff on keeping Sewell at Left Tackle and sliding Decker to Right Tackle, Fraley shut that down.
“Only dialogue we’ve had right now is about Green Bay, and Taylor’s been a big help to Penei,” said Fraley. “Ever since he’s gotten here, he’s always been in his ear about little things, how to do things. He’s a good asset for Penei out there because already seen these and knows what’s about to take place.”
“So all that discussion has been about Green Bay.”
Fraley also addressed how much of a team guy Taylor Decker is and if he would consider moving to Right Tackle based on the play of Penei Sewell.
“Right now, Taylor, in my mind is our Left Tackle, and Penei is our Right Tackle,” said Fraley. “And when Taylor’s not playing, Penei is our Left Tackle, and Matt Nelson is the Right Tackle.”